President Pendarovski addresses the celebration of the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations with Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland

14 December 2023 | Speeches

President Stevo Pendarovski addressed the reception, which was held yesterday evening in Skopje on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between North Macedonia and Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Distinguished Excellences,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This evening, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between North Macedonia and Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. There is no better way to mark this great jubilee than to celebrate Saint Lucia’s Day together.

For the past 30 years, each of your countries individually, but also the Nordic region as a whole, have been a bright example not only for the Macedonian state and society, but also for Southeast Europe. Contrary to the chronic Balkan disputes and blockades, you have been offering in continuity the Nordic paradigm of cooperation and integration. Your support for our European integrations is not only declarative, but also very practical, as you invest directly and specifically to the rule of law, social justice and quality of life.

Still, unfortunately, we celebrate this holiday of light in extremely dark times of war and suffering, of hatred and violence, of darkened minds and innocent victims. Corruption, social inequality and blockage of the European integration are part of the Macedonian challenges.

In this dark period, there are two persons who fulfilled the meaning of their personal names with their own lives. The first person is Lucia herself, whose name comes from the Latin word Lux which means light, the saint from the south of Europe, in whose biography we recognized the virtues necessary to endure even the darkest periods. And these are: solidarity with the poor, compassion with the marginalized, personal integrity and resistance against injustice.

The second person is Dag Hammerskjöld, whose name comes from the old Nordic word which means daylight, the peacemaker from the north of Europe. As Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1953, exactly 70 years ago, he wrote: “Goodness is something so simple: always to live for others, never to seek one’s own advantage”. Elevated to the social level, this principle would mean return of the common good and the public interest to the center of social and political life.

Dear friends,

Despite the challenges, North Macedonia must continue with the reform process and with the creation of a functional legal state. I believe that in the future we will have the overall support of your countries in this regard. There is still unused potential for economic, educational and cultural cooperation between our countries. I believe that the friendly relations will continue to develop in the spirit of common commitments for a democratic, stable, united and prosperous Europe.

In this region, it is said that the night is darkest just before the dawn. Dear friends, let us hope, but also continue to work, for that dawn to rise an hour sooner.

Thank you.

 

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